Fresh Hop season is my favourite time of year…everything I love about beer, packed neatly into a 440ml can and available for a very limited time. My pic of the crop this year (and by a long way) is Boneface Brewing’s Gardenia Fresh Hop Cold IPA. What I love about this beer is the way they have been able to perfectly balance the grassy, dank notes of the Nelson Sauvin fresh hops, with the super crisp freshness you’d expect in a cold IPA. Grapefruit flavours leap out of the can, the beer is wonderfully bitter — I was in beer drinking paradise. Mouthfeel is light which wonderful in this world of over-hazed madness. Credit to the Boneface brew-crew. I admire how skillfully they have been able to get the fresh hops to hold up, whilst using the slower fermentation method associated with brewing cold IPAs. Stock is limited, even the head brewer missed out! So, if you do manage to spy a can at your local beer retailer, grab it and enjoy. You won’t be disappointed. (Ed’s note: This beer also won the People’s Choice during Wellington’s Hopstock).

Boneface Gardenia